A flower which never grew in the world's
(William Secker, "The Consistent Christian" 1660)
"I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know both how to have a little—and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances, I have learned the secret of being content—whether well-fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:11-13
Every man has received more good—than he has deserved. He should therefore be contented, though he sees but little good. And he should not be discontented, though he suffers much evil.
"Keep your lives free from the love of money—and be content with what you have." When a wicked man's purse grows light—his heart grows heavy. When he has something without to afflict him—he has nothing within to support him.
Repenting is the act of Christian men—but repining is the act of carnal men. Though their estates are like a fruitful paradise—yet their hearts are like a barren wilderness. Such people are like those spiders—which suck poison out of the sweetest flowers—and by an infernal chemistry, extract dross from the purest gold!
Outward prosperity cannot create inward tranquility. 'Hearts-ease' is a flower which never grew in the world's garden! The ground of a wicked man's trouble, is not because he has not enough of the creature—but because he cannot find enough in the creature to satisfy him! His possession is great enough—but his disposition is not low enough.
Our worldly comforts would be a sea to drown us—if our crosses were not a plank to save us!
Contentment is the best food to preserve a sound man—and the best medicine to restore a sick man. It resembles the gilt on bitter pills, which makes a man take them—without tasting their bitterness. Contentment will make a lowly cottage—look as fair as a grand palace. He is not a poor man—who has but little; but he is a poor man—who desires much. In this sense, the poorest are often the richest—and the richest the poorest.
"Godliness with contentment is great gain." Contentment is too precious a flower to grow in every soil. Though every godly man may not always be contented—yet every truly contented man is godly. "The Lord is my shepherd—I have everything I need!" Such a Scripture will bring us plenty in scarcity; and fullness out of emptiness.
Never complain of your hard condition, Christian—so long as Jesus is your friend! Let your condition be ever so flourishing—it is a hell without Him. Let your condition be ever so fluctuating—it is a heaven with Him. Can that man truly lack anything—who enjoys Christ; or can he be said to truly enjoy anything—who is without Christ?